Orthodontic problems, which can result from genetic and
environmental factors, must be diagnosed before treatment
begins. Proper diagnosis starts by taking records, such
as study model impressions, x-rays, and photographs. These
records are then analyzed and presented to you to help you
decide upon the most appropriate treatment.
When classifying the front to back relationship of the upper teeth to the lower
teeth, we use three classifications: I, II, and III.
I is the correct front to back relationship between the
upper and lower teeth.
II is an incorrect bite. This is where the upper teeth are
further forward than the lower teeth. Some of the time,
there is a convex appearance of the profile with a receding
chin and lower lip. Class II problems can be due to insufficient
growth of the lower jaw, an over growth of the upper jaw,
or a combination of the two. In many cases, Class II problems
are genetically inherited, and can be aggravated by environmental
factors such as finger sucking. Class II problems are treated
via growth redirection to bring the upper and lower teeth
and jaws into harmony.
III is also an incorrect bite. This is where the upper teeth
are behind the lower teeth. There can be a concave appearance
of the profile with a prominent chin. Class III problems
are usually due to an overgrowth in the lower jaw, an undergrowth
of the upper jaw, or a combination of the two. Like Class
II problems, they can be genetically inherited.
Crowding is due to the lack of space for all of the teeth to fit normally
within the jaws. The teeth may be rotated or displaced. Crowding occurs
when the teeth are larger than the available space. Crowding can be caused
by early or late loss of primary teeth, or improper eruption of teeth.
Spacing, the opposite of crowding, is where you have gaps between your
teeth. This generally occurs when the teeth are smaller than the available
space. Spacing can also be caused by protrusive teeth, missing or impacted
teeth, or abnormal tissue attachments to the gums. A space between the
two front teeth is properly called a diastema.
Overbite is the measurement of the overlap of the front teeth in a vertical
dimension. A perfect overbite is where the upper front overlap 10 – 20%
of the lower front teeth. It is not correct for the teeth to have zero
overbite. But, it is far worst to have an overbite so deep, that the lower
front teeth touch the gums behind the upper teeth.
Overjet is also known
as protrusion. This is where the upper front teeth are too far in front
of the lower front teeth. This can be due to flared upper incisors, missing
lower teeth, or a Class II malocclusion. Oral habits such as thumb or
finger sucking or tongue thrusting can make this worst.
Crossbite is where the upper teeth bite on the inside of the lower
teeth. This can occur with a single tooth or multiple teeth. Normally,
the upper teeth fit to the outside of the lower teeth. A crossbite can
occur with a single tooth or multiple teeth. It can occur in the front
or on the sides. A crossbite on the side of the mouth can cause the lower
jaw to be shifted to one side of the face. If not corrected, this can
result in the jaw growing permanently into this shift and leave the person
with a facial asymmetry that will last a lifetime.
Openbite is a measurement of the lack of vertical overlap of the front
teeth. It is the opposite of overbite. With an openbite, the front teeth
will not be touching, even though the back teeth are together as you bite.
An impacted tooth is one that will not erupt into the mouth. They can
be caused by improper positioning of the tooth bud, crowded teeth, or
early loss of baby teeth. Wisdom teeth are the most commonly impacted
teeth, with cuspids being the second most common.
the absence of a tooth or teeth that would normally be present.
This can be caused by decay, trauma, or even a lack of the
tooth to form in the jaw.